The Frontier Bride's Confession

Of course I loved him at first; when he looked at me, his eyes were full of begging. But later, when he’d roll onto me at night, touching me so companionably, like I was a question already asked and answered — then I began to count the days till winter.

He’d shown me what to do if Indians came for our stores in wintertime; I was to bolt our heavy door in all three places and then, for good measure, slide the iron bar across on the inside. He reached inside my dress and squeezed my breast and said, “You do that, not even I can get in.”

It was almost as though he was telling me to do it – to bide my time until the first real frigid night, to ask him to go out for firewood. And then to bolt the door and slide the bar and huddle by the stove while he banged and banged and pleaded and cursed and banged again, and then, when it was getting on towards morning and he had been quiet a long time, to take his frozen body inside with me and lay it out, and kiss his eyelids shut.

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